Authorities say a human smuggling investigation is underway after 13 people were killed Tuesday morning when an SUV carrying over two dozen people collided with a big rig on a Southern California highway in Imperial County near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Twelve people were found dead when first responders reached the highway, which winds through fields in the agricultural southeastern corner of California. Another person died at a hospital, California Highway Patrol Chief Omar Watson said.
Authorities do not yet know if the driver of the 1997 Ford Expedition, who died in the crash, had stopped at a stop sign before crossing into the path of the big rig around 6:15 a.m., Watson said. The big rig hit the left side of the SUV, which appeared to have been pushed off the road that’s about 100 miles east of San Diego.